In the fourth such arrest in four days, Punjab police nabbed an alleged terrorist of the Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) and Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF), 30-year-old Ramandeep Singh alias Sunny, in Bathinda on Sunday.
Police said Sunny — a Bathinda resident employed at a motor parts shop of his relative — had come in contact with radical elements on social networking website Facebook, and also undergone training by Pakistan’s spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in Southeast Asia.
Inspector general of police (IGP), Bathinda, Paramraj Singh Umranangal said at a press briefing here that Sunny, Class-10 qualified and a resident of Telian Wala Mohalla here, was a member of the BKI and in contact with KTF head Jagtar Singh Tara, a fugitive in the 1995 case of assassination of the then Punjab chief minister Beant Singh. Tara is believed to be based in Pakistan.
Police also claimed to have found a .32-bore pistol, a “handmade bomb” fitted with a clock, about 200gm of explosives and five letter pads bearing BKI’s name in Sunny’s possession. It is alleged that he was to “test the bomb” at a secluded place. Arrested from Cantonment Road near Dhobiana, he was booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Arms Act and Explosives Act, said the police.
Facebook, funds, and terror training
Sunny, whose parents are deceased and who lives with his grandmother, is alleged to have befriended hardliners on Facebook. And they in turn contacted him on his phone number mentioned on his FB profile, said the police.
So far not providing any timeline of the purported sequences events, the IGP described the sequence thus: “Sunny has revealed that he was connected with the BKI secretively and also came in contact with Tara. Tara used to extend financial help to Sunny through his Europe-based contacts via Western Union (a money transfer service). Upon being asked by Tara, Sunny went to Bangkok (Thailand) and Malaysia where he got training in using arms and manufacturing bombs through an ISI agent.”
Though Sunny, who has in the past worked for mobile telephony companies, is booked in a case of assault at the Kotwali police station, as per the IGP, the police were yet to find his involvement in any express terror act.
As part of the operation, the Punjab police had, with the help of central intelligence agencies, nabbed Ramandeep Singh alias Goldy of the KTF at Chennai airport on Thursday, while Harminder Singh alias Mintoo of Khalistan Liberation Force and his aide Gurpreet Singh alias Gopi were arrested at the New Delhi airport on Friday.